NYT Opinionator on Gun Control
Timothy Egan has an Opinionator column at The New York Times titled The Great Gun Debate. The general argument is the same (that a country with more guns will have more homicides by gun), but it’s filled with factual and interpretive errors. A passage at the end of the piece was most curious:
Going into a theater or a mall in America can be a risky thing, as recent mass shootings have shown. I just returned from Idaho, where people are buying guns at a record clip because of the delusional fear that President Obama is going to take them away. The safest place in Idaho, by far, is just inside the security line at the Boise airport, where a big sign warns people that they will soon be entering a mandatory gun-free zone.
Yet Idaho has one of the lowest homicide rates of any state. At 1.5 murders per 100,000 people, Idaho actually is about as safe as the TSA side of the security line at the Boise airport. According to the Wall Street Journal’s interactive data which is a compilation of FBI data, there were 339 murders in the state between 2000 and 2010. Of these, 188 involved a gun. Idaho has a population of about 1.6 million. This is a strange example for Egan to use to make his point. He could have chosen Louisiana or Alabama to help make the case.